Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What's in a portfolio?

Well a lot really.
Obviously your portfolio speaks volumes about your work and your best work. A website is great but you should also have a portfolio. I've said many times, art buyers and photo editors appreciate the tactile nature of a portfolio in their hands rather than a computer screen.

In my opinion, a portfolio should open and close with strong images and recent work. It also shouldn't have too many prints in it. Sometimes the more there is, the more daunting it becomes and I forget what I was just looking at 20 pages ago. The main benefit of a portfolio is to leave an impact with your work, or that one photo that says to the client you can shoot their project beautifully. The general consensus among art buyers is to keep the images at a manageable number. If you are a artist representative, more art buyers prefer to look at separate artist portfolios instead of one larger agency portfolio.

You can never accommodate everyone at once but it helps that when your portfolio is called in for a project to know a bit more about it, that way you can cater some of your images to that client.

My favorite and ideal portfolio?
I'm partial to black or white leather soft covers with the name embossed on the front (covers are covers and don't matter too much, but it's so very important to have your name somewhere on the front or the first page and not just on the carry case).
A super strong first image that flows beautifully from page to page almost like telling your photographic story or journey. I like when a body of work has newer, recent or personal images that I might not find on your website either.
A strong ending image that will stick in my mind and is a great closing to everything I have just viewed.
I personally also like a page at the end that has some sort of client list and contact information.